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How Can I Get My Kids into Paintballing?
Maybe you’ve already got the paintballing bug or you just think it looks like a fantastic activity even though you’ve never had time for it yourself. Either way, you realize it could be a superb sport for your children; all you’ve got to do is get them inspired! Some kids will happily try out anything their parents suggest, while others can be skeptical and resistant. That’s a game for mom and dad, they think. But if you approach it in the right way, you’ll soon have them desperate to get out on the field.
Why Should Your Kids be Paintballing?
Let’s get the sensible parenting stuff out of the way. Paintballing isn’t just a casual game; it’s an extreme sport. That means it has all the benefits of any team sport in teaching about teamwork, stamina, problem-solving, resilience, discipline and other essential life skills. It’s also a great way to get and stay fit as it’s a massive aerobic workout without the boredom of the gym. There’s running, jumping, climbing, tumbling - a full athlete’s agenda - and it’s (mostly) outdoors. If you’re concerned about the tendency of your kids to spend hours online or on their Xbox or PlayStation, it’s hard to imagine a more different experience, and you can get them to love it.
A Different Kind of Sport
A lot of kids will take to sports at school, whether it’s football, soccer, baseball or basketball. Those are all great, but they do demand skills that are specific to each one; not every kid has the strength for football, the ball skills for soccer, or the hand-eye coordination for baseball or basketball. Paintball is a whole new world where kids can discover talents they never knew they had. It’s a clean slate where they can be encouraged to develop new abilities.
Real-Life Video Games
To be fair, not every video game is a shoot-em-up. But let’s be honest: most of them are. When you or your parents were kids, you probably played cops and robbers, cowboys or even war games. That’s all gone virtual now, but the excitement of make-believe combat is as strong as ever. Paintball is the perfect way to take it back from the screens in the bedrooms to the real world. It shouldn’t be hard to convince kids that there’s a lot more satisfaction in carrying real but safe weapons and firing real ammunition at real opponents than simply making CGI explosions. It’s video gaming made real.
One sure way to get them interested is to arrange a paintball birthday party. It’s a way to get your kids together with all their friends and introduce everyone to it at the same time. If you can spark an interest across the whole friendship group, your work is mostly done.
If your kids still think it’s just something for their parents to do - old-fashioned and uncool - let them know what they’re missing. This is playtime for adults, so why shouldn’t the kids get a piece of it, too? If you’re a player, take them out with you to see what really goes on. Pick the right game on the right field so they can see how fast it can be; there’s nothing like seeing the action up close.
Is it Safe?
Any extreme sport can be risky, and being hit by a paintball can hurt a little, but your kids are far more likely to get injured on the football field than in a game of paintball. By the time they reach 6th grade, kids are ready to understand and observe the safety rules and take the knocks in stride.
Can Very Young Kids Play?
The sport now caters extremely well to kids as young as 6 or 7. They won’t be running around with heavy-duty markers like every adult’s favorite, the Tippmann A 5. They are given age-appropriate equipment that’s much lighter, less powerful guns and greater protective gear. Games for the very young are closely supervised, but that doesn’t interfere with their freedom to enjoy themselves. There is usually a full safety briefing before every game, and trained marshals are always on hand to anticipate or deal with any problems.
Who doesn’t like to be on a winning team? Let your kids learn what a great feeling it is to have real comrades instead of virtual teammates so that winning becomes something to celebrate and even losing doesn’t feel quite so bad as going through it on your own.